National Health Care Decisions Day

It’s unfortunate that most people believe advanced care planning is for the elderly or terminally ill. No one likes to think things will go wrong, but the reality is accidents and illness happen all the time to people of all ages and all walks of life. Understanding the importance of making your wishes known, Lee Memorial Health System will provide education to staff and visitors on April 16, National Healthcare Decision Making Day, at each of its four acute care hospitals.

Roughly 70 percent of us will be unable to make decisions for ourselves at some point. It’s only logical to be prepared. National Healthcare Decisions Day provides a great opportunity to discuss care options and advanced directives. You don’t need a lawyer to make your wishes known.

The Q-Life Palliative Care and Spiritual Services of Lee Memorial Health System welcome you on April 16, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., to visit one of four information stations they will provide near the cafeteria at each of Lee Memorial Health System’s four acute care hospitals: Lee Memorial Hospital, Cape Coral Hospital, HealthPark Medical Center and Gulf Coast Medical Center.

There are two parts to advanced directives: first, a living will, which contains specific instructions about the use of life support; and second, a designation of health care surrogate document that appoints someone you trust to make decisions should you be unable to make them yourself.

It’s important to recognize that advanced care planning is not the simple act of signing documents. It’s a serious discussion involving the most important people in your life. Difficult topics are addressed, which can be uncomfortable, but it eases the burden for caregivers who will make decisions based on what they think you would want. By addressing these issues in advance, your wishes are known and can be provided in a loving and nurturing atmosphere, allowing peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

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